US embassy cable - 07DAKAR683

GUINEA BISSAU: NO CONFIDENCE IN GOVERNMENT, HIGH CONFIDENCE IN DRUGS

Identifier: 07DAKAR683
Wikileaks: View 07DAKAR683 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Dakar
Created: 2007-03-26 12:10:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV SNAR PREL EFIN PU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO5366
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHDK #0683/01 0851210
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 261210Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7941
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0235
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHLC/AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE 0935
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 0785
RUEHLU/AMEMBASSY LUANDA 0410
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 0156
RUEHTO/AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 0445
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 DAKAR 000683 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL, AF/W, AF/RSA, DRL/AE, WHA/BSC AND S/P 
ACCRA FOR USAID/WA 
PARIS FOR POL - D'ELIA 
LAGOS FOR DEA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/26/2017 
TAGS: PGOV, SNAR, PREL, EFIN, PU 
SUBJECT: GUINEA BISSAU: NO CONFIDENCE IN GOVERNMENT, HIGH 
CONFIDENCE IN DRUGS 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Janice L. Jacobs for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
SUMMARY 
------- 
1.  (C) A vote of no confidence leaves President Joao 
Bernardo &Nino8 Vieira with some tough choices but no clear 
timeframe for having to make them.  The crisis will 
indefinitely stall the security sector reform initiative, not 
to mention much needed social and economic reforms.  Drug 
money may have played a major role in the attempt to shake up 
the government but among the international community, there 
is still no unified or concerted effort to confront 
traffickers.  The military is staying behind the scenes and 
Bissau is peaceful, but given the Defense Minister and the 
Chief of the Armed forces, increasing power and drug money, 
the military is surely deeply involved.  Please see action 
requests in paragraphs 14 and 15. END SUMMARY. 
 
NO CONFIDENCE 
------------- 
2.  (C) The no confidence vote in the National Popular 
Assembly (ANP) on March 19 left President Vieira with three 
choices: to accept a new government headed by the Party for 
the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC) )- 
the party that expelled him; dissolve the assembly, which 
would require new elections within 90 days; or ignore the 
vote and continue with the current government.  Vieira 
appears to be leaning toward the third option, asking the ANP 
to clarify the meaning of its vote. 
 
3.  (C) Vieira told the Ambassador that he was consulting 
with the Supreme Court to analyze his legal options.  He 
would prefer to ignore the no confidence vote if he receives 
the court,s backing that to do so is constitutional.  He 
followed a similar course of action when he removed former 
Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Jr. of the PAIGC and replaced him 
with the current Prime Minister, Aristides Gomes.  The PAIGC 
brought the case to the Supreme Court which declined to issue 
a ruling, stating it was a political, not legal matter. 
 
4.  (C) If Vieira dissolves the ANP, the GOGB has no money 
for new elections.  The only possible donor that may support 
such a move would be China, although the newly appointed 
Chinese Ambassador did not mention that it was a 
consideration when he met with the Ambassador on March 21. 
In any event, parliamentary elections are scheduled for 
spring 2008; so a new Assembly would be short-lived. 
 
5.  (C) The decision may not be Vieira,s to make.  Foreign 
Minister Antonio Isaac Monteiro told the Ambassador that the 
no confidence vote had been purchased with drug money. 
Others echoed this opinion and pointed to Defense Minister 
Helder Proenca as a possible replacement for the Prime 
Minister.  In Bissau, Proenca is widely believed to be a drug 
kingpin.  Like Vieira, Proenca was also expelled from the 
PAIGC, which according to the censure, would have the right 
to appoint the new Prime Minister.  Since the no confidence 
vote, he has been in talks with the party, possibly paving 
the way for his return.  He is also continuing to coordinate 
closely with Chief of Defense General Batista Tagme Na Waie, 
also widely believed to be important for drug traffickers. 
Whatever is the next step to resolve the current crisis, it 
will certainly benefit Proenca and Tagme who seem to be 
emerging as the two strongest men in the country. 
 
6.  (C) A donor,s contact group meeting on March 26 in 
Lisbon was scheduled to address how Guinea-Bissau and 
international donors could jump-start the security sector 
reform initiative.  The meeting will still take place, but 
the agenda has changed.  Now only the internal crisis will be 
discussed. 
 
DRUGS 
----- 
7.  (C) The Ambassador told the President, Defense Minister 
Proenca, General Tagme Na Waie, Naval Chief Jose Americo Bubo 
Na Tchuto, and the press that the United States would suspend 
training for high level military officials because of 
information linking the military to drug trafficking. 
Mostly, the message was met with little surprise and comments 
 
DAKAR 00000683  002 OF 003 
 
 
about poverty and lack of means to fight trafficking.  Two 
notable exceptions, Foreign Minister Monteiro and Interior 
Minister Dionsio Cabi were refreshingly candid about the vast 
influence and effect of drugs in Guinea-Bissau. 
 
8.  (C) Monteiro said the U.S. and other donors are too late 
in the fight against drugs in Guinea-Bissau.  "Some of us 
will have to die," he said of his fellow advocates in 
Guinea-Bissau of fighting drug traffickers.  His concern of 
sniper fire at night in a city with almost no street lights 
was hauntingly detailed.  He urged the Ambassador to look at 
the connections being made abroad but did not elaborate. 
 
9.  (C) Among the foreign missions in Guinea-Bissau, there 
does not seem to be a united, concerted effort to confront 
drug trafficking.  Ambassador Franco Nulli, the European 
Union Delegate, which is the single largest donor, expressed 
only passing concern when prompted and did not know if 
Guinea-Bissau had been mentioned for a Dublin Group.  He said 
Spain and France might be engaged bilaterally on the issue. 
Nulli said the EU is still focused on security sector reform, 
which requires close cooperation and assistance with the 
military.  Perhaps not surprisingly, China,s Ambassador had 
no interest in the topic when raised by the Ambassador. 
 
10.  (C) Brazil's Ambassador, on the contrary, expressed 
significant concern about drug trafficking.  He noted that it 
would be useful if Presidents Lula and Bush discussed the 
topic at their upcoming March meeting in Washington.  He told 
the Ambassador he would send a cable to Brasilia urging 
inclusion of the topic in Lula,s talking points. 
 
11.  (C) Among the donors, the U.S. appears to be taking the 
lead in raising concerns about drug trafficking.  After the 
Ambassador's strong statement to the press at the Navy 
headquarters with Navy Chief and reputed trafficker Na Tchuto 
in the background, five people called post's FSN in Bissau 
the next day to congratulate the Ambassador on her courage. 
The State Secretary for Cooperation was among them, stating 
that other countries needed to follow the U.S. lead and add 
their voice for support. 
 
COMMENT AND ACTION REQUESTS 
--------------------------- 
12.  (C) The no confidence vote is in part the Government's 
own doing and also the result of intense jockeying for 
government jobs.  Prime Minister Gomes is an arrogant and 
ineffectual leader who has refused to meet with opposition 
parties, has allowed corruption to spiral out of control, and 
caused major losses with his failed cashew export policies. 
Under his watch, the World Bank has lost confidence in 
Guinea-Bissau for attempting to unethically award a lucrative 
contract for infrastructure improvement to a Nigerian firm. 
However, the vote also shows the determination of some 
factions of divided PAIGC and Party for Social Renewal (PRS) 
to get government jobs and probably a piece of the drug 
money.  The factionalization of the PRS took on new 
dimensions since former president Kumba Yala won that party's 
leadership race.  Even though he has since returned to his 
residence in Morocco, Yala's proxy in Bissau, Sori Djalo, was 
a major force behind the so called "stability pact" that led 
to the no confidence vote. 
 
13.  (C) Whatever the reasons, it is worth noting that the 
process has been peaceful and constitutional.  Political 
enemies have been trying to destroy the government almost 
since Vieira took office in October 2005, but they have 
generally remained within the confines of the law to do so. 
 
14.  (C) Action Request One: Monteiro asked to travel to 
Washington to meet with high level officials to talk more 
about drug trafficking and request assistance.  Request INL 
A/S Patterson and others as appropriate agree to meet with 
him. 
 
15.  (C) Action Request Two: Please also take necessary steps 
to include the topic of drug trafficking in talking points 
for President Lula,s visit.  While this topic is not covered 
in the trilateral agreement, the signing ceremony would be a 
good opportunity to raise the issue of drug trafficking and 
 
DAKAR 00000683  003 OF 003 
 
 
open the possibility of including it in future coordinated 
activities.  END COMMENT AND ACTION REQUESTS. 
 
16.  (U) Visit Embassy Dakar,s SIPRNET site at 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/af/dakar. 
JACOBS 

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